Diary of a Backstreet Boys roadie
They’ve sold millions of records in Europe and Asia. They’ve started their conquest of North America. They’ve won countless awards, from the legitimate (Best Group) to the frivolous (Best Haircut). They’ve conquered the hearts of the global teenage population. With all of these achievements in a span of two years, the Backstreet Boys have proven that they are bigger than the New Kids On The Block ever were.
The Backstreet Boys’ tremendous success can be largely attributed to their wholesome image. Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, A.J. McLean, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough all possess charming and clean-cut personalities that many people, particularly parents of teenagers, find easy to trust. You can never describe the Boys without using the word “wholesome.”
Which is why the next few paragraphs of this article will shock many.
In June 1997, the Backstreet Boys conducted a nationwide contest for their fans in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of hopeful teenaged girls, and even boys, participated in the promotional event, dubbed as “Be Our Summer Roadie.” Only one lucky fan was chosen to spend ten days on the road with the Backstreet Boys, with free board and lodging.
“I was supposed to have the towels washed and dried but I didn’t. Instead I brought them to my hotel room and used them as my blanket.”
That lucky fan, ‘Kelly’, kept a diary throughout the brief, life-
July 6, 1997
Today is my first day of travelling with the Backstreet Boys. They are so far out and groovy! I’m still pinching myself. I can’t believe that I’m gonna be at their beck and call for ten days! We’re on our way to Tuscaloosa right now. All the Backstreet Boys are asleep, except for A.J., who is reading Ayn Rand. I hope to warm up to all of them soon. They all seem nice and friendly.
July 7, 1997
My first show tonight! It was great! I handed out towels to the Boys after their set was done. I enjoyed looking at their sweaty, glistening bodies. A.J. winked at me after throwing his sweat-drenched towel back to me. So did Howie and Kevin. I was supposed to have the towels washed and dried but I didn’t. Instead I brought them to my hotel room and used them as my blanket.
July 8, 1997
A.J. summoned me to his hotel room after the show tonight. When I got there, he was only wearing a towel around his waist. He wanted me to give him a massage. He said the massage therapist was already asleep and he desperately needed someone to loosen up his “hard muscles.” Eventhough I knew nothing about massage therapy, I obliged and gave him one. When I was halfway down his back, he turned over. He was right. His muscles were really hard.
July 9, 1997
Everyone was wondering where I was last night. I told them I went out and saw a movie. Little do they know! When I saw A.J. just before soundcheck, he flashed a wicked smile. The whole entourage was in a good mood today, except for Nick and Kevin, who were at each other’s throats. I’m aching to find out why! Tomorrow we leave for Chicago. The boys are doing one show with Boyzone.
July 10, 1997
The show was fantastic! A.J. “flashed” the audience. I could still hear the screaming! When no one was looking, A.J. fondled me backstage. The guy is a horn dog, I’m telling you! I got to hang out with the boys from Boyzone, who are pretty cool themselves. But it’s the BSB for me, any day! On my way to the hotel room I share with the make-up artist, I passed by Nick’s room and overheard an argument. Nick was having a heated exchange of words with Kevin! I stuck my ear on the door to listen more closely. I heard my name mentioned several times. It seems that Nick is not too happy to have me around.
“Geez, lighten up will you? It’s just a temporary thing! Kelly won’t be around forever. There ain’t gonna be a Yoko Ono,” said Kevin.
“Alright, alright! But if I ever hear anything, you know what’s gonna happen!” replied Nick.
After hearing this, I quickly walked away before anybody saw me. I feel so special! The Backstreet Boys are squabbling because of me!
July 11, 1997
The group decided to stay one more night in Chicago. We were supposed to fly out to California for some shows in San Francisco and San Diego but El Niño got in the way. I didn’t see a lot of A.J. today. I heard he got it goin on with the drummer somewhere. Nick and Kevin went out shopping for antiques. So I hung out with Brian and Howie in the hotel room they shared. First we played Nintendo 64. I was kicking their asses at Super Mario Kart! Then we played strip poker. Of course I knew I was gonna keep all my clothes on – being born to parents who are both chronic heavy gamblers.
When both Brian and Howie had taken off their last piece of clothing, they jumped on me and started undressing me, short of ripping my clothes off. We horsed around naked all over the room – swinging and shaking if you know what I mean. Brian deserves his “B-Rok” nickname. He’s naturally rocky! Howie’s hugey, too! We found ourselves in a tangle of hard muscled limbs, torsos and other body parts. And what comes naturally to three people naked with hands all over each other… came naturally.
July 12, 1997
The plane trip to California was thoroughly uneventful except for one incident involving moi and Kevin in the bathroom when everyone else was dozing off. I went to relieve myself. I didn’t realize Kevin followed me. He shoved me into the cramped lavatory and totally manhandled me. It was rough and abrupt but I certainly loved it! By the time we got to SF, I was sporting these bruises on my arms and a massive hickey which I tried to hide with my Clearasil skin-tone acne cream. Kevin acted like nothing happened. But every once in a while he would look back at me, wink and smile.
The band was invited to a secret private screening of “Boogie Nights.” I didn’t want to go – I was tired and exhausted from the banging that Kevin gave me – but A.J. dragged me anyway. And I knew what I was getting into. Halfway through the tediously long movie, A.J. whispered that he wanted me to meet him in the limo. There really is no rest for the wicked roadie.
July 13, 1997
The group performed to a sold-out show as usual. The Boys were in their top form. I did notice a coldness between Nick and Kevin once again. It was most obvious when the two performed 10,000 Promises with Kevin on vocals and piano, and Nick on percussion. Nick had never drummed like he did tonight. Anger and resentment were clearly fueling and consuming him simultaneously.
Kevin sang with guilt and remorse. It made for a poignant performance, but I am worried to death. What if a Yoko Ono had finally come between them? I feel so terrible.
July 14, 1997
Tomorrow is my last day as a BSB roadie. It’s a day I wish would never come but I have no choice but prepare for the inevitable. I hung out with the Boys in the gym today. Nick was conspicuously absent; he said he had a hair and facial appointment. I think he just didn’t want to see me or be around me. Which really breaks my heart, because Nick is the Backstreet Boy of my dreams. Not the insatiable A.J. Not the rough-lovin’ Kevin. Nor the three timing Brian and Howie. But Nick.
Sigh. I guess it was never meant to be. Fate had only arranged for me to “know” four-fifths of the Backstreet Boys.
The Boys hit the showers after the last song on the “Cats” Broadway musical soundtrack. A.J. dragged me in with them. They made me drop the soap four times. As a result the show tonight was a little less energetic than usual. I warned them about this consequence. Their testosterone levels need to be regulated!
July 15, 1997
I woke up with a really bad hangover from last night. The Boys took me out to some bar and we drank ourselves silly. After the seventh Singapore Sling, I passed out and woke up in bed next to Nick. He had my underwear over his head and was drooling on his pillow. At first I thought I was dreaming but I wasn’t. I really was there and it really was my underwear.
For a few minutes I just laid next to him, smelling his beer breath and caressing him. And then I was overcome by the smell of puke. It was all over the floor on his side of the bed. He had had too much sushi last night. I had one last one with him before I left his hotel room. He was still fast asleep, which was okay. I didn’t want to wake him up. I took his Calvin Klein with me as a souvenir.
I quietly packed up my things and got ready for the trip back home. This is my last day as a Backstreet Boys Roadie, but I’ve got enough memories to last me well into my twenties.
‘Kelly’ with Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean